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Sport NZ releases results of Diversity and Inclusion survey

Sport NZ releases results of Diversity and Inclusion survey

30 September 2021

Sport NZ has released the results of a new Diversity and Inclusion Survey, creating a benchmark for the play, active recreation and sport sector.

Some 154 national and regional organisations across New Zealand completed the survey, which has provided an evidence-based understanding of current issues such as gender pay gaps, under-representation of Asian and Pasifika people in the sector and a need to consider the role of the youth voice in the workforce and governance roles.  

Sport NZ CEO Raelene Castle says the results have identified the current state of the workforce and confirmed where equity and diversity issues may exist to provide a starting point for the sector to make positive change.

“Much of what the survey tells us doesn’t come as a surprise, but it gives us line of sight into the current state of the sector. As a collective we can advance discussions around under-representation and jointly develop strategies to improve.”

“Promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion is a strategic priority for Sport NZ,” she said. “We will continue to support the sector to ensure we address equity issues and champion the benefits of diversity across our collective workforces and in leadership.”

Conducted on behalf of Sport NZ by Angus & Associates, the survey explored the make-up and experiences of the paid workforce within the participating organisations. The survey will be repeated over each of the next two years.

The first of the three annual surveys shows age, gender and ethnicity are dimensions where improvements will likely make a significant impact. Key findings of the survey are: 

  • A 15% gender pay gap based on the median annual income
  • More females than males see poor remuneration as the main barrier to progression in the sector
  • The sector has an aging workforce – over-represented by ages 36 to 64
  • Sector board members are skewed towards ages 55+
  • NZ European are more likely to be in leadership roles
  • The sector’s workforce under-represents Asian and Pasifika

The survey supports some of Sport NZ’s 24 commitments to the Government’s Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation strategy. Its purpose was to understand and track what diversity and inclusion looks like across the play, active recreation and sport paid workforce and governing boards. The main report provides a representative view of the entire sector, while Sport NZ and all participating organisations with more than 10 respondents receive their own confidential individual reports. Those with less than 10 respondents will receive a report summarising the results of other organisations of the same type (e.g. Regional Sports Trust, Regional Sports Organisations, clubs).

“With this information we can now work within our own organisation, and with others across the sector, to build a more diverse and inclusive landscape,” says Raelene Castle.



Key Facts:

  • The survey was conducted at the end of 2020
  • 154 organisations from across the sector contributed to the survey.
  • 1679 individuals took part (39% response rate)
  • Participating organisations included National Sporting Organisations (NSO’s), Regional Sports Organisations (RSO’s), Regional Sports Trusts, Territorial Authorities (TA’s), Recreation Organisations (RA’s), Disability Sports Organisations (DSO’s) education organisations, play providers and the Sport NZ group (HPSNZ and Sport NZ)
  • All organisations with over ten employees who took part in the survey receive their own report specific to them, including the Sport NZ Group.

Media Contact

Michelle Pickles

Group Media Manager

021 833 244


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